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The idea of these pages is to give you some sort of reference point into the type of person I am. More importantly, it is so that you can read them and nod your head as you say, "Oh yes I know that feeling." If nothing else we people with MS share so many of our symptoms and idiosyncrasies. It also gives you some background into a mental attitude that I have found essential in the improvements to my lifestyle in my struggle to maintain my Multiple Sclerosis.

 

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in December 1992. When my wife and I came out of the neurologists rooms we sat in the van—we’d come up from Mount Gambier in South Australia’s, South East—the day before. The four children were staying with a friend of ours while we tried to sort out the problems I’d been having.

 

At work, I’d discovered that I was not as organised as usual. I was a Religious Education Coordinator, which meant that I had the responsibility to ensure the Religious Education Program in our school was authentic and appropriate according to the school’s policy. Organisation was paramount to my job. I was beginning to double book my time and miss appointments to my horror. It was very embarrassing since this was totally out of character.

 

At home I used to love pottering in the garden—the more stressful work was the more I’d retire to my garden or my garden shed and either ‘fix’ something or just do gardening. I’d found for the year prior to my diagnosis that my legs often ached for no apparent reason. The year before my diagnosis, I went diving with my friend during the summer holidays. We used to dive and gather crayfish for our meals. It was some of our happiest times. On this particular occasion, I ended up seasick while swimming back to the boat. Again, I was welcomed with my aching legs and terrible fatigue. I put all this down to stress at work finally getting to me. I couldn’t understand the seasickness since I always had the stomach of a Viking.

 

My wife and I began to worry that perhaps I was showing signs of having a brain tumour. We went to see a Neurologist in the September and he suggested an MRI to investigate. We came back for that at the end of November and then went to see him again in December just before the end of school.

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